COMBS—Officials in the Perry County School District are doing what they can this year to help lighten the financial load on students’ families in every school in the district.
A new initiative, called “Tee for Ticket,” will begin next month. The aim of the initiative, Superintendent Jonathan Jett said, is to help families participate in school events while not having to empty their wallets.
“The economy here is struggling. People are struggling—families are—and we have a ton of extracurricular activities throughout our district,” he said. “Some kids can’t participate in that because they don’t have the money to get in, so we wanted to eliminate that barrier for them and their families.”
Jett explained that for a family of four to attend an extracurricular event, such as a high school or grade school basketball game, the cost can be as high as $20 or $25 just for admittance.
To help ease the burden of that cost, Jett said the district leadership team came up with the idea to give out free T-shirts to every student in the district. Those T-shirts wouldn’t only be a fashion statement, though, they would also give the student free admittance to any at home extracurricular activity in the district as long as they were wearing it.
“I’m not aware of any other school districts that are doing this,” Jett said, adding that the district leadership team wanted to help instill a sense of unity in the district. “One thing that came up was just an overall sense of pride and trying to do something that would impact every student, not just one group.”
Jett said that while this initiative is a wonderful opportunity for students and parents in the district, it also comes at a cost. Since ticket sales would inevitably go down, the district would have to find other avenues for helping to fund its extracurricular activities.
“That’s something we’re going to have to overcome,” he said. “We’ll have to deal with that, but we’re committed to doing that.”
The district is also committed to ensuring the shirts come at no cost to students. According to a press release from the Perry County Schools, the district is estimating having around 4,200 students this school year. If T-shirts are able to be purchased for $5 per shirt, then the total cost will be around $20,000.
“We are seeking assistance from local businesses and organizations that would be willing to contribute financially to the ‘Tee for Ticket’ initiative. Any help and support would be greatly appreciated by our school district’s students and staff,” the release read.
Jett said the T-shirts, which will have either the Perry County Central of Buckhorn High School logo printed on the front and the slogan, “We Expect Success,” printed on the back, will be unveiled during a district-wide pep rally on Sept. 12.
College and Career Readiness (CCR) Coordinator Kristie Collett said the district is hoping to make only positive impacts this year.
“We wanted out district to come together as one and show that we’re one district, moving forward,” she said.
Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.